Donors attack "demented" charity tax plans
A group of 46 wealthy philanpthropists have attacked the Government's plans to cap tax relief on charitable giving.
In a letter published in The Sunday Telegraph, the business leaders and representatives from worlds of the arts and education, warned the Government that good causes will suffer if the cap is implemented.
Sir John Ritblat, chairman of the Wallace Collection wrote: “I think the Treasury are absolutely demented and yes, it might affect how and what I choose to donate."
Sir Vernon Ellis, chairman of the English National Opera and the British Council added: “For my own giving, I will not be able to make as much contributions. It will be much tougher and I will have to think very carefully about each donation.
"Under the new proposals, I certainly would not have been to give the several million pounds towards the restoration of the Coliseum.
"Good causes will suffer and some important projects in our cultural institutions will not take place, which will be a shame for the country.”
The signatories also include three members of the Sainsbury family and Gordon Roddick, the widower of Body Shop founder Anita Roddick. Between them the group make donations worth more than £100 million a year.
UK Prime Minister signals retreat over limiting charity tax donations
The UK Prime Minister hinted that proposed changes to donation rules could be focussed on gifts to non-British charities.
Currently, higher-rate taxpayers donating to a charity can reclaim more than half of the tax. From April, the maximum will be £50,000 per year, or 25 per cent of the individual’s income.
Ministers say the change is needed because some rich people are abusing the relief to cut their income tax bill. Charities have said the move will deprive good causes of significant donations.
Speaking in Jakarta, Mr Cameron said the principle of tightening up on tax relief was sound, because “there is no doubt that abuse is taking place.”
He said: “We’re very clearly informed of that, by the Inland Revenue, some people have been using charities established in other countries to funnel money in and get their tax rates so they’re not paying 50p tax or even 45p tax but in some cases are paying 10 or 20 per cent tax, and I think that isn’t right."
However, he said he was prepared to listen to charities’ concerns before the Treasury publishes draft legislation in the autumn. "We’ll look very sympathetically at these concerns,” he said.
He was speaking after charities warned that their funding was under threat.
[Read more] Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Is US MacArthur Foundation broke? It's accepting donations from outsiders
Want to make a gift to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation? Now you can: The $5.5-billion philanthropy unveiled a new policy this week that enables the fund to accept donations from the public.
But don’t expect to receive any direct mail from MacArthur asking for money to help underwrite public radio or support its illustrious “genius” awards program. Joshua Mintz, the foundation’s general counsel, said in a statement that MacArthur will continue to encourage people to instead give directly to its grantees and will accept gifts only in “limited circumstances if a suitable grantee is not identified and the donor believes MacArthur has the expertise to use the funds wisely.”
“Under this policy, we do not actively fundraise. Instead, our focus remains firmly on supporting our grantees but providing flexibility in cases where a donor prefers that we accept funds,” he said.
At least one other private grant maker accepts donations from people other than its founder: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2006, Gates decided to accept money from people other than Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. It was a move the foundation had previously resisted.
“We just really have been touched by some of these offers and think it would be ungracious to flat out turn the gifts away,” Patty Stonesifer, the foundation’s then-president, said in an interview.
“What do you tell a 7-year-old girl?” she asked. “Warren can give, but you can’t?”
The Gates foundation received $319,486 from the public in 2010, the last year for which that information was available.
The MacArthur foundation says the economic downturn played no role in its decision to accept other people’s gifts. But as foundation endowments and giving remain below their pre-recession levels, will more grant makers start looking to the public to help them fill their coffers?
[Read more] Source: Chroncile of Philanthropy
Giving in India on the Rise, Report Finds
A 2011 visit to India by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage that country's billionaires to increase their charitable giving appears to be paying dividends, Livemint.com reports.
Released by Bain & Company at the third annual Indian Philanthropy Forum in Mumbai, the India Philanthropy Report 2012 (24 pages, PDF) found that India's billionaires gave 3.1 percent of their income to charity in 2011, up from 2.3 percent in 2010. The report, which examined the philanthropic efforts of four hundred high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) and emerging HNWIs in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Pune, found that younger HNWIs played a key role in helping to grow the country's philanthropic sector over the last year.
Indeed, among families engaged in philanthropy, 76 percent said they have young relatives taking an active role in choosing charities to support, while 69 percent have young members spearheading their family's charitable efforts. In addition to being involved in giving, younger HNWIs also said they planned to do more giving, with 57 percent saying they expected to boost their giving in 2012 and 49 percent of those over the age of 30 saying they expected to do so.
While the report suggests that Indian philanthropy will grow over the next few years, it also notes that more than 70 percent of the donors responding to the survey had less than three years of experience with philanthropy, underscoring the notion that the country's budding philanthropic sector is likely to experience growing pains.
How much fundraising is too much?
Fundraisers must have an honest discussion about just how much fundraising there should be or face a situation, says Michael Naidu.
After four and a half years as chair of the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, in January I handed over the reins of the organisation to Paul Stallard. He joins the organisation at an incredibly challenging but interesting time. The sector is limbering up for the Charities Act review and there are some big questions to be answered.
The challenge of organising access to fundraise in public spaces is not an easy one. It cannot be written down in one place and then followed by all. Charities of all shapes and sizes have the right to fundraise using a range of tactics and the public have the right to say ‘No thank you’. Striking a balance between the two will always be delicate and require ongoing dialogue as well as a willingness to work together. Arguably, this is the biggest opportunity – and threat – the sector has faced in decades.
The PFRA plays a unique role in the sector, being the only organisation that directly regulates an Institute of Fundraising code. And by regulate, I mean has the power to limit actual fundraising activity. This occurs on the street with agency and in-house organisations bidding for access to sites. The doorstep is a different matter.
[Read more] Source: CivilSociety.co.uk